A signature collection campaign has commenced on ManaBalss platform in favour of removal of excise tax from coffee. So far the campaign has received signatures from 392 people. In order for it to be submitted to the Saeima, it needs to receive another 9 608 signatures.
«Why does coffee in Latvia cost more than in Estonia and Lithuania? Because coffee is applied with excise tax. Latvia is one of the few European countries whose legislation provides excise tax for coffee. This tax is traditionally applied to goods that are harmful to human health and the environment. It also increases the end price of coffee by 1.42 EUR/kg. In the end the tax is paid by the end consumer – people who enjoy the drink at home and at various public catering establishments,» notes the author of the initiative Mārtiņš Drungils.
«The harm from coffee mainly stems from the decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to add coffee to 2B group of products in 1991. This decision indicates that coffee may be potentially carcinogenic to humans. However, both WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) admitted in a press-release of the 15th of June 2016 that after careful review of more than 1 000 studies, it was found that there aren’t enough convincing studies that prove coffee’s potentially carcinogenic effect on human health. With that, coffee was put into the third group in 2016. Substances in this group are not considered carcinogenic.
There are only studies that outline that consumption of very hot coffee (above 65° C) may cause esophageal cancer. But this applies to all hot drinks.
There is proof of moderate consumption of coffee having a positive effect on human health. For example, European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) performed a study with more than 521 300 participants from ten European countries. Results showed that a higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death. Coffee is considered one of the main source of polyphenols for residents of Eastern Europe. The beneficial effect on human health is mainly explained with its varied range of biologically active ingredients,» the annotation to the initiative mentions.
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